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Home US & Canada U.S. Catholic Bishops Overwhelmingly Approved New Document on the Eucharist

U.S. Catholic Bishops Overwhelmingly Approved New Document on the Eucharist


The vote, coming during the annual fall assembly of the the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore, was 222 to 8, with three abstentions.

Newsroom (18/11/2021 5:15 PM Gaudium Press) Voting was anonymous and conducted electronically. A two-thirds majority was necessary for the document’s adoption. The final text titled “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church,” avoids any overt references to whether bishops and priests ought to deny Communion to public figures at odds with Catholic teaching on abortion and other moral issues, while highlighting the sacrament’s indispensable role in the life of the Church.

The document aims to emphasize on catechizing Catholics about the meaning and importance of the Eucharist, in response to what many bishops see as a worrisome decline in belief in the sacrament as the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

The two sections of the 30-page Eucharist document are “The Gift,” which centers on the Eucharist as a gift from Christ through his incarnation, death, and resurrection, and  “Our Response,” which focuses on gratitude for the gift of the Eucharist, the role the laity play in regards to reception of the Eucharist, and the importance of the Eucharist in conversion.

While the document does not provide any criteria for denying the sacrament to someone not in communion with Church teaching, the text does explain the d b and says that a Catholic in a state of mortal sin should not receive the Eucharist until they have gone to Confession and received absolution.

In addition to approving the document, titled “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church,” the bishops approved a strategic plan for a three-year eucharist revival campaign. The vote was 201 to 17 in favor of the revival campaign, with five abstentions. The initiative is to include the development of new teaching materials, training for diocesan and parish leaders, the launch of a dedicated revival website, and the deployment of a special team of 50 priests who will travel the country to preach about the Eucharist.

The campaign will culminate with a National Eucharistic Congress in July 2024 in Indianapolis, Bishop-designate Andrew H. Cozzens of Crookston, Minn., announced Wednesday. Cozzens, who is heading the revival effort as chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, said the congress would be the first of its kind in the United States in nearly 50 years.

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